Verse: Tenth anniversary of my mountain rescue

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January, ten years back*:

I received a lot of flak

When I blundered – went astray –

On a cold and dismal day.

Gale was howling, snow was deep,

Skiddaw’s** slopes rose white and steep,

With its summit in the cloud,

But I planned my climb, unbowed,

Pining for the lofty top

With no image of a flop.

I was soon, despite the freeze,

Crawling on my hands and knees

Yet still sinking in the snow,

With my progress very slow;

But, regardless, on I pressed,

Which (in case you haven’t guessed)

Was a reckless thing to do

Given that nobody knew

Where I was on this vast slope;

Yep, I acted like a dope:

Upwards, higher, then – a fright:

The world went completely white!

There was nothing I could see:

Clouds, the ground, my boots, my knee …

Nothing, so I grabbed my phone

And, in panic-stricken tone,

Called the mountain rescue, who

Mobilised our Keswick crew;

Cockermouth went out as well,

And they got me off the fell,

Now, in darkness – ‘t was pitch-black***,

With no trace of any track.

I was, clearly, in those days

Still in my immortal phase;

Now, with whiteout on the tops,

I stay low and hit the shops!

 

*To be precise, on 29th January 2009

**Skiddaw is a mountain of over 3,000 feet which towers over my small town of Keswick

***I called the mountain rescue at about 3.30pm, and the Cockermouth team reached me at roughly 7pm, albeit in complete darkness because I had found myself on the eastern flank of Skiddaw and thus away from Keswick’s lights. My having ended up there was lucky because, if I had strayed onto its precipitous western slopes, I might not be here now. The rescuers managed to locate me because I was shining two torches (head and hand). Needless to say, I didn’t see anybody else on the fell that day – not that I could see much …

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Humorous verse: Confessions of a walk leader

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With the time just whizzing past,

What I’ve had was – yes – a blast,

Clocking (fancy!) fifty walks

With my team, which simply rocks.

 

Roamers they are called, and they

Are first-class in every way:

They’re intrepid, brave and bold

Yet, with that, as good as gold.

 

We have rambled far and wide,

With me acting as a guide,

So it’s truly on my head

If the group’s not safely led.

 

But it was, I fear, a dud

When I dragged them through the mud,

Made them brave almighty gales,

Led them down precarious trails

 

And up rocks all glazed by frost,

Covered up when we got lost

(Aiming east but heading west,

Feigning nonchalance and zest) …

 

That, and stuff along those lines,

Fails to meet with gripes or whines;

As I’ve said, they are top drawer:

They keep coming back for more!